Progress Notes: There will be one final Chapter dealing with the Hogwarts years and beyond, but I've had to put writing Molly on hold for a while. I'm at a block for this last chapter and need to write other things while that sorts itself out. Thank you for reading. I've enjoyed your reviews tremendously. -Tante
My sister jokes that we spend the first two years of our children's lives enthusiastically encouraging them to talk and walk, then the next sixteen begging them to shut up and sit down. I do love this stage, though. Children this age start to show personality and you'll see growth every day. Now remember, dear, babies are naturally inquisitive. Those little brains want so much information. Everything is fresh and interesting to them; nothing seems dangerous or nasty. Of course, their magical core makes them resistant to injury, but you still can't be too careful what they get into. The key focus here is child-proofing your home to prevent as much injury and to preserve as much sanity as possible.
Gripping Charm - attineo
I love this particular gripping charm and have used it since the beginning. I'm rather sentimental about it as my mother taught it to me back in my carefree days expecting our first-born. There's nothing so slippery as a soapy baby. This spell allows you to maintain a much firmer grip on your little one so you can get them clean and out of the bath without you getting one as well. Although in the early days that may well be the only kind of bath you have time to take. Remember those cheering charms, dear.
Other excellent times for this charm are during fits of temper. At about eighteen months, my baby girl, Ginny, awoke one morning a fully fledged tantrum specialist. Not only did she cry and moan constantly, but she learned to make her body limp or rigid so she'd be more difficult to move. It was rather impressive. Gripping charms became a way of life for her. I cast one during a particularly spectacular tantrum in the shops when she was twenty months old and didn't remove it until she became more reasonable aged three.
Book Protection Spell – eviscero interdictum
Arthur and I have always loved books. We had quite a collection when we began our family. We firmly believed that exposing our children to books would make them more intelligent and ready for the world. Exposing books to children, however, is not as advantageous for the books. My eldest loved books, but would as often tread on them as read them. After Bill mutilated a lovely old picture book from my childhood, I consulted Madam Pince, the Hogwarts librarian. Any book lovers with small children should owl a little gift and ask her advice. She'll reply with an excellent leaflet of her favorite spells and their effects. With permission, here's my favorite: Eviscero iterdictum - stops your darlings from ripping pages out of their books. It simply makes the pages impossible to tear. It's basic and dead useful. There are other moreamusing spells in her leaflet. Some of the effects are quite entertaining; such a wonderfully clever woman, I highly recommend her advice. Cheers, Madame Pince! One of the perks of magical motherhood is the chance to have a good laugh at your children's expense as often as possible. Better than a cheering charm.
Age Line – parvulus intirdictum
For persistent children, those natural hellions, to whom limitations have no meaning whatsoever, this spell is a vital necessity. I have a perfectly matched set of such hellions, as anyone who has set foot in Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes may imagine. Fortunately, they've grown into two of the Diagon Alley's most promising young entrepreneurs. So do the best you can by your children, dear. They may surprise you in the end. Even if they did give you no end of nausea and grief from the day they began to crawl.
Their worst incident led to the discovery of this brilliant charm. Only two days after I caught eighteen-month-old Fred and George emptying the kitchen dust bin and feeding each other banana peels, I found them toddling out of the laundry room scraping cat litter off their tongues and teeth. Evidently, they'd learned to open doors that morning. Happy surprise. The St. Mungo's pediatric healer had a lovely laugh. He said there was nothing in the cat poo per se that would be harmful, but wasn't sure about chemicals in the cat litter. He called in the potion specialist, who laughed so hard she could barely squeak out that the cat litter might give them indigestion, but nothing more. It was just too nasty for me. I was so nauseous; they had to give me a calming draught before they let me take the children home.
My darling Arthur came home that night with chocolates, flowers and the research on this sanity saving spell. He'd mentioned the incident to Albus Dumbledore in the course of the afternoon, who kindly managed not to laugh until after he'd taught Arthur this spell. Evidently, it's one of his favorites and that's good enough for me. We set off round the house putting this thin golden line about every disgusting, dangerous or fragile thing we could think of. I added a repelling charm to my age lines so the children would be gently pushed away from the object. Arthur's lines thoughtfully changed them different colors so I could tell where they'd been.
Don't forget to modify the age lines as your children grow; for instance, adjust the line around the loo before you begin toilet training. I sent poor Ron skidding across the floor on his bare bottom. It took him forever to forgive me and give it another go.
Transcription Spell – transcriptum
My twins also fancied themselves little Da Vincis. They'd take their crayons or my favorite lipstick to any available surface. And every creation seemed, to them, worthy of giving their lives to preserve when I began to remove it. So, rather than spend all day scouring the house in its entirety and fighting with traumatized toddlers sobbing over their lost works, transcriptum would transfer any drawings from forbidden objects to their own bodies. It didn't so much matter to me if they drew on themselves, and they could enjoy their work at least until the next bath. I remember a rather charming drawing of Arthur and me which transferred to their knees for the better part of a week because they'd used ink to make the drawing on their bedroom wall. Oh, and they were particularly fond of lipstick handprints on the drawing room sofa or printed F's and G's in lipstick on the good carpet. To this day, I have no idea how two wandless toddlers managed to find my lipstick again and again, even if I hid it magically.
Sticking Charms – affixa
Toddlers are also inordinately fond of playing with things their parents use often, like keys, glasses, watches and coins. Poor Arthur had a devil of a time keeping his reading glasses out of little Bill's hands. He'd come home from a long day and settle into his chair for a relaxing bit of reading and reach for his glasses on the bookshelf next to his chair. They were never there. They were usually lying in an out-of-the-way spot mangled almost beyond recognition, lenses covered in sticky, greasy fingerprints. While it was simple to repair the glasses, it wasn't easy to find them. Because we didn't know what room they were in, a summoning charm wouldn't work, so the search took a good deal of time. A temporary sticking charm allowed Bill to handle the glasses without walking off and misplacing them.
A/N: The cat litter incident really happened. Her name is Emma and she's one of my "Weasley Twins." She's my inspiration for most of the Twins' escapades.
And, thanks to sonicdale for reminding me that often it's not a matter of failing to put an item away that makes it impossible to summon, but rather that the item walks off with a toddler to places unknown. The sticking charm is for him.